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"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."

Matthew 5:7, 9

On the side of a mountain in rural Israel, Jesus stands up to tell the story of what it means to be His follower on earth as it is in heaven. As we walk through His sermon, we are faced with these questions:

Do you believe the story that this sermon tells? 

Do you love the one (Jesus) who is telling it? 

Take a moment to reflect on these questions as a group. Consider your hardest day this past week, and share your reflections with each other. 

Blessed are the merciful. We primarily extend mercy in two ways: 1) to those who are in need, and 2) to those who have wronged us. Which group is easier for you to extend mercy to, and why? 

Blessed are the peacemakers. Every family has a way of operating; Jesus is teaching us how to do that in His family. In conflict, is your tendency to break peace (fight), fake peace (flee) or make peace? Discuss the relationship of these two beatitudes, specifically the relationship between mercy, forgiveness and peace.

When we are merciful and peacemakers, we are imitating who we belong to and who God is to us. These are not conditions of receiving God’s love, but consequences of being loved by God. As a church, we are invited throughout this sermon series to engage in three practices: Morning Prayer, Evening Silence and Wednesday Fast. Which practice is easiest/hardest for you, and why?

Read through the practice guide together as a group (found here). The practices are a way to become satisfied in God. They help you posture your mind and body to abide in Jesus and access the presence of God. As you awake to pray, fast and abide in Jesus, these practices will help you grow in mercy and purity of heart, which come from being with Jesus.